Planning Committee

Aidan Key – Founder and Executive Director (he)
Aidan is thrilled to celebrate 16 years since organizing his first Gender Odyssey conference. Aidan leads the largest network of support groups in the nation for families raising transgender and gender-nonconforming children at Seattle Children's Hospital. When the conference is not demanding his attention, Aidan offers trainings for schools, organizations, health providers, and social service agencies through Gender Diversity Education and Support Services. Aidan's work has led to numerous speaking engagements, as well as TV, radio, and other media appearances. He is the author of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Child Chapter (Oxford University Press 2014) as well as a coauthor of "Gender Cognition in Children" (Psychological Science 2015).

Baya Walls – Photography Coordinator (they/she)
Baya is a white, female-bodied, queer, first generation US citizen with German roots, feminist, democratic socialist, and PhD student in sociocultural anthropology with a focus on trans masculinity. They are a long- time photographer with an eye for detail telling stories through pictures and are looking forward to their second year at Gender Odyssey.

Beth Johnson – Volunteer Coordinator (she)
I became the volunteer coordinator for Gender Odyssey in 2016. I moved to the Seattle area 6 years ago. Since then I have spent my time working as a volunteer and volunteer coordinator with various organizations. Gender Odyssey is one that is close to my heart.

Brenda Bowers – Vendor Coordinator (she)
Brenda has been involved in Gender Odyssey from its inception, first as Family Kids Camp creator, then as a workshop facilitator, family liaison, and vendor coordinator. She and her son Bronze, 11, and daughter Olivia, 25, have loved being a part of the kids camp and the conference for 10 years now. Brenda holds a degree in communications and is a treatment and recovery grant administrator with the State of Alaska. She is also the identical twin sister of conference organizer Aidan Key, and will happily share with you the subtle distinctions in how to tell them apart!

C. Michael Woodward, MPH – Conference Director (he)
Michael is Gender Odyssey’s conference director. He’s also a writer, rock star, storyteller, body builder, award-winning social justice advocate, and aging queer trans guy. Michael has published myriad books, articles, and blogs, including the title essay of the much-acclaimed anthology, Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family, and Themselves (Transgress Press, 2014). He received a Master of Public Health Policy and Management from the University of Arizona and a BS in Communications from Butler University.

Carolyn Langford Hussein Fort - Scholarships/Storytelling Curator (they)
Carolyn is a recent transplant to Seattle from Tucson, Arizona. They honestly, if not proudly, claim these titles as well: semi-Luddite, white Southerner, uncomfortable daughter, lover of most creatures great and small, occasionally somewhat adequate friend, descendant of a short line of intellectual snobs, introverted exhibitionist, and lover of stories. Few things on earth bring them as much joy as their love's belly.

Carolyn MacGregor – Conference Associate Director/Program Book Editor (she)
Carolyn has been with Gender Diversity for about five years, and this year stepped fully into the role of conference programming and planning. An editor, musician, and mother of two children, one of whom is a transgender teen, she has attended the Gender Odyssey Family conference and Gender Diversity's Family Support Groups since their inception, and currently serves as a support group facilitator. She is a fierce lover of animals and word/logic puzzles.

Cathy Renna – Media and Publicity Coordinator (she)
Cathy is a managing partner at Target Cue, an LGBT- and HIV-focused public interest communications and marketing firm. Prior to that, she was a founder of Renna Communications. During her seven years with the firm, Renna Communications partnered with more than 50 different organizations on diverse issues of importance to the LGBT and allied communities and HIV-related issues. Cathy is nationally recognized as both a media relations and communications expert and as a leader within the LGBT community. She lives in Montclair, NJ, with her partner Karen and is the proud parent of her daughter Rosemary.

Dawn Marie Blades – Photography Assistant (she)
Much of Dawn Marie's registration and conference experience comes from the Midwest science-fiction community. She is happily translating her skill set to help out with Gender Odyssey. Dawn Marie has two adult children (in school in the Midwest), and two feline children. Last year she started taking classes in the PsyD program in clinical psychology at Antioch University, Seattle, so she may be looking a little blurry in spots. (Just hand the gal in Tigger ears a chai latte or energy drink and things will be fine in a few minutes.)

Diana Campbell – Registrar/Co-Emcee/
Database Administrator (she)

From delivering meals to AIDS clients to working on queer rights campaigns to presenting transgender workshops—Diana has been a longtime queer advocate. She volunteered at her first GO conference in 2013 and continues to serve on the conference planning committee. As a cisgender lesbian, she is proud to stand with all members of the queer community. She's passionate about opening hearts and minds to support, embrace, and celebrate everyone on the gender spectrum.

Erika Laurentz – Security Consultant (she)
My partner says that I'm an overachiever. She's probably right. I survived years of rape and ritualized torture, later, beatings by schoolyard bullies, to become a police officer that protected people in similar situations. I went to law school and became a prosecutor. Later, I taught and then ran a criminal justice program for a community college. Now, I'm an advocate for trans people and their families while finishing a masters degree in psychology. I began socially transitioning to the woman I am in 1985.

Gil Rich – Teen Program Coordinator (he)
Gil Rich is the Gender Odyssey Teen Program Coordinator and runs the youth groups for the Gender Diversity family support meetings held at Seattle Children's Hospital. Gil has also volunteered with Camp Ten Trees and the WSU-4H Challenge Program and has spent the past 16 years leading leadership and community-building programs that help youth recognize their potential. Gil had the unique opportunity to grow up as a gender-nonconforming kid with an identical twin who was also gender-nonconforming. Growing up different but knowing there is someone else like you in the world provided a foundation of self-confidence and pride that he hopes to pass on to the youth he works with.

Jenn Odell – Kids Camp Coordinator (she)

Jenn is proudly serving as Kids Camp Coordinator for Gender Odyssey Family. Jenn holds a BA in Theatre Arts (2012) from Principia College. She has worked with youth of all ages in a variety of creative disciplines ranging from arts and crafts to voice, dance, and scene study. She also has worked as an instructor of musical theatre and movement at a number of Seattle-based theatre and musical organizations. Previously as a volunteer working for a number of grassroots and political organizations, Jenn also holds a teaching artist certification from the Washington State TAT Lab 2013-2014.

Jeri Starrett – Continuing Education Support (she)
Jeri served on the Pride Foundation Scholarship Committee and for many years was actively involved in PFLAG. She attended her first GO conference at the encouragement of her son—they attended together. At that time, few parents attended the conference and to connect with parents of transgender adult children was an amazing experience. She's grateful to be a member of the conference planning team, managing applications for continuing education credits again this year. A big thank you to all GO volunteers, you make the world a better place!

Joshua Riverdale – Web Manager (he)
Joshua is a web developer and marketer with more than 18 years of professional experience. He has been working on the Gender Odyssey websites since 2008. That year also marked the beginning of his gender transition, which he continues to chronicle on his popular blog, Gender Outlaw. Joshua lives in rural British Columbia, Canada.

Kit Moreland – Kids Camp Fundraising (he)
Kit is thrilled to be helping with Kids Camp again for GO 2017. He has experience leading transgender support groups, workshops, and policy discussions in university settings and is now turning is hand to the younger transgender community. By day, Kit is a cognitive psychologist PhD student.

Kristin Wilson-Key – Offsite Logistics/Programming Assistant (she)
Kristin is a behind-the-scenes force throughout the Gender Odyssey planning year, having numerous and varied responsibilities. She enjoys working with parents through Gender Diversity's Family Support Groups. Originally from high and dry Colorado, Kristin enjoys temperate Seattle with her husband, Aidan.

Lena Holz – Keynote Speaker Liaison (she)
Lena has been a nanny in Seattle for 12 years and has a 22-year-old son. She loves kids, animals, the outdoors, playing, and being spontaneous. This is Lena's third year volunteering for the conference.

Margaret Taboada – Concierge Lead (she)
I was born and raised in the Seattle area. I raised 4 children and currently have fun with 10 grandkids who keep me young! I graduated from UW with an engineering degree and have worked at Boeing for 35 years as a computer developer, architect, analyst and project manager. My hobby is amateur ballroom dancing, competing in the local area.

Micah – Social Media (they)
A published writer, engaging advocate, and expert educator on transgender identities, Micah's mission is to contribute positively to everyone's experience with gender. The popular site is a balance of thoroughly researched information, easy to understand resources, and the personal chronicles of Micah's transition, a public examination of what it means to live in a world that makes no room for non-binary gender. Micah presents humorously didactic workshops involving cookie metaphors, reluctantly talks to journalists for media interviews, volunteers at schools as a speaker for the SF LGBTQ Speaker's Bureau, and is a closet idealist.

Nadja Dee Witherbee – Teen Programming Assistant (she)
Nadia Dee is a graduate of the telecommunication and film department at San Diego State University. She has spent 12 years working in the film industry and became a member of the Local 600 Camera Union. She left Burbank to transition in Seattle and has volunteered for Gender Odyssey, Gender Diversity, Camp Ten Trees, and Lambert House and served on the board of directors for Ingersoll Gender Center and Camp Ten Trees. Combining her love of film and the community, Nadja Dee created SOLD: Examining the T in TV Commercials, presented at Gender Odyssey and Translations Film Festival. Currently working with the Teen Program, Nadja Dee brings her love of film and television, art, music, and special-effects film make-up to Gender Odyssey. She resides in the Pacific Northwest and can often be seen playing guitar or ukulele with her husband David and their two furry Yorkie-Poo daughters, Noe and Nico.

Nathan Tabak - Media and Publicity Assistant (he)
Nathan is a communications, writing, and research professional working at Target Cue to publicize the vital work of LGBT organizations and help their message reach a wider audience, a goal made all the more vital in the current political climate. He has previously worked for Springer Publishing, Renna Communications, and Media Matters for America. Nathan graduated from Vassar College with a degree in religion, and lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Nikki Neuen – Associate Director, Gender Diversity (she)
Nikki is associate director of Gender Diversity year-round, working on organizational administration, graphic design, outreach, fundraising, and of course, Gender Odyssey. Her special focus is launching Gender Diversity’s online parent support groups—coming soon! She also volunteers as the guest relations coordinator/assistant for 3DollarBill Cinema’s film festivals TWIST and Translations. Otherwise, she is solo-parent to a transgender teen, a mad dabbler in all things arts and crafts, and is a sometime-philosopher.

Nina RoseNina Rose – Lead Writer (she)
From writing blog posts and press releases, to polishing data to a high shine, Nina is eager to do all she can to make herself useful for her first Gender Odyssey conference. That is, when she’s not volunteering with Gender Justice League and Washington Won’t Discriminate. She’s part dancer (lapsed), part wordnik, and part gaming geek. And she’s all trans girl, swivel-hipping through transition while she searches for the best way to direct her rediscovered voice.

Oblio Stroyman – Programming Assistant (they/he)
Oblio is a former family therapist turned Ecstatic Dance DJ when they decided to follow their heart. Oblio presents all over the country on issues of gender, sexuality, open relationships, and healthy communication. Oblio is the executive director of the nonprofit Trans*Ponder, a resource hub and training organization based in Eugene, Oregon, on issues of gender diversity.

Rosemary Meza – Kids Camp Assistant (she)
Rosemary is back for another year as Kids Camp assistant for the Gender Odyssey conference. She has several years of experience working with children and is very exciting to be part of such an amazing group like Gender Odyssey. She is looking forward to creating a safe, fun, and memorable experience for children at the Gender Odyssey Conference.

Sairam Sreedhara ("Vatsa") – Staging & Logistics (he)
Vatsa is an HR professional who recently relocated from India to Seattle with his husband. He has always been passionate about diversity and equity, including gender, orientation, identity, disability, and intergenerational diversity. He continues to volunteer with organizations that promote social dialogue and change, and that provide resources and support to communities, in India and Seattle. He currently works with partners in India to design intervention programs around 'Bias in the workplace'. He is also on the board of Trikone Northwest, a support group for queer South Asian folk in and around Seattle. He is very grateful and excited to be a part of the planning team for the GO Conference 2017.

Sam Berliner – A/V Coordinator (he/they)
Sam Berliner is a Seattle-based filmmaker and animator best known for his engaging and accessible films about gender nonconformity. His award-winning short films, Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure, Genderbusters, Perception, and Float have screened at over 200 film festivals around the world and are distributed by CFMDC. When not actively making films, Sam is the festival director of Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, as well as a senior programmer at Three Dollar Bill Cinema. He leads workshops and gives presentations about gender at various organizations and schools. He is currently in pre-production on Episode 2 of the Dating Sucks webseries and is the founder of Queer Scouts Seattle, hosting monthly skill-shares for LGBTQA adults. Sam graduated in 2005 from Smith College with a BA in Film & Theatre and earned an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 2013.

Sarah Stuhlsatz-Krouper – Co-Registrar (she)
In her previous life, Sarah was a research cell biologist. These days her science happens as a homeschooling parent and teacher at a Parent Partnership School. Her three kids, two cats and husband keep her on her toes as she tries to keep up with all of their antics. This is her first year working on the registration team before the conference. Last year she had a role as registration ensemble during the conference. In her spare time she challenges the status quo, smashes the patriarchy and knits.

Shelley Shore – Event Coordinator/Art Exhibit (she)
During the past two Gender Odyssey conferences, Shelley has served as part of the GO Picnic team responsible for hosting this most unique gathering of many diverse people who have arrived here from origins all over the planet. The Picnic is the Saturday night destination for all those attending the conference and an opportunity to share a meal and engage in heartfelt discussions with these kindred spirits. In facing the challenges of her own personal gender journey, Shelley has continually found herself nourished by family and friends, and has found the safe harbor of Gender Odyssey to be a powerful resource in providing a strategic roadmap for living harmoniously as a Trans person.